Bedford Cricket Club confirmed their place in the knockout stages of the revamped Northamptonshire Cricket League at the weekend with four convincing victories throughout August.
The 1st XI finished 3rd out of 12 sides in Division Five to secure a home quarter-final against 6th placed Loddington & Mawsley following devastating bowling displays in the last month.
Following a comfortable opening weekend victory against Kettering Town in July, Bedford suffered their only defeat of the shortened league campaign at Cogenhoe before the bowling unit demoralised batting orders to jump up the table.
The side were unable to bounce back immediately from the Cogenhoe defeat as the rain got the better of a competitive match up between Bedford and Bugbrooke, with Tom Blythman’s 72 in vain as Bedford were not given much opportunity to defend 197.
The Bury played host again to Weekly & Warkton at the beginning of the month, as Jake Brown and the ever-consistent all-rounder Vedant Somal bagged three wickets apiece as the opposition were bowled out for just 94.
Despite losing regular wickets, Blythman’s attacking 41 gave the impetus to Bedford who coasted home with over half of their innings to spare.
The rain put paid to another home game the following week against Yelvertoft, however the side came roaring back as they travelled to Irthlingborough on 22nd August.
Vedant Somal was in the runs again as he anchored the innings with an impressive 80, ably supported by a swashbuckling 57 from opener Shiv Odedra as Bedford posted a challenging 220-8.
The game was done inside the first ten overs of Irtlinghborough’s response as they were reduced to 9-6, thanks in large to Liam Healey’s maiden 5-wicket haul for the club; as he finished with impressive figures of 5-13.
Rajpreet Sidhu also bowled extremely fast and was unlucky not to pick up more than two wickets, with Charlie Blythman finishing the innings off with 2-10 as Irthlingborough posted just 64.
The final game of the league season – on the bank holiday weekend – was a walkover against bottom side Obelisk CC, meaning Bedford finish 3rd in the division and secure a more favourable home quarter-final tie this coming Saturday.
However, with no promotion and relegation in the revised format, Bedford are unable to go up to Division Four and work towards their long term aim of reaching the coveted Premier Division.
Bedford face Loddington & Mawsley at The Bury on Saturday 5th September with a 12.30pm start time.
Elsewhere, there were two friendly victories for Bedford’s youth sides as the Under 11’s and the Under 15’s narrowly beating the respective Flitwick teams.
Tom Hayward (32) and Ryan Chambers (31) propelled the Under 15’s to 119-3 in their Twenty20 friendly, with Aryan Sisodia and Charlie Blythman both picking up two wickets as Flitwick could only muster 83-7 in response.
Nirmay Patel got the only two wickets for the Under 11’s as Flitwick, batting first, posted 114 in their friendly but unbeaten 25’s from Karanbir Benipal and Alex Turner gave Bedford a good base for victory in the chase.